Local economy is down €6m-a-year

Darragh O'Brien said he plans to give the Garda documents about Nama following claims of corruption and impropriety

THE economy in north county Dublin is down €6m a year because of cuts to the pensions of retired Aer Lingus and Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) staff, local politician Darragh O'Brien has claimed.

Since January 25, members of the Retired Aviation Staff Association (RASA), which represents 2,800 former Aer Lingus and DAA workers, have had their pensions cut by 10pc.

The pensioners live predominately around the area of north county Dublin. This cut is having a direct impact on the local economy in the area as the pensioners have now less to spend, the Dublin North-based Fianna Fail Senator said.

"Airport pensioners have had their pensions cut by the Government with effect from January this year. The cut equates to a reduction of six weeks (pay) per annum.

"Theses are people who have worked all their lives in Aer Lingus and the airport, have paid into their pensions and should be enjoying their retirement.

"Instead they are left counting the costs of this Government's action. Not to mention the fact that €500,000-a-month is lost to the local economy," said Mr O'Brien.

The pensioners are drawing incomes from the Irish Airline Staff Superannuation (IASS) retirement plan.

Their benefits were cut last month as part of a deal to tackle the scheme's €750m shortfall.

The cut came about under a change to legislation last year that allowed payments to pensioners who are members of insolvent schemes to be reduced.

A member of RASA explained to the Herald that, across the board, people had received €500,000 less in their pension income in January than they had in December 2014.

Earlier this month members of RASA said they were proceeding with legal action against a number of "potential defendants" over the restructuring of the pension scheme.